LAWTON, Okla._The Lawton Veterans Center will soon be adding a new member to the team.
Her name is Liberty, and she is wrapping up the process to be a fully-trained therapy dog. Liberty is a seven-month-old terrier-poodle mix and will join Hope, another therapy dog that's been there for four years.
There is no doubt that staff members and veterans alike love having the dogs around. Veterans Center officials say now that they have two dogs, there is twice the amount of love to go around.
Veterans at the center said hanging out with mans best friend is about as good as it gets.
"Makes you feel that much better to have a pet around. I've always had a lot of dogs, you know," said Air Force veteran June Moye.
These dogs make it their job to comfort the veterans. Veterans Center administrator, Tonya Hendricks, says not every dog can do the job.
"They have to have a certain temperament and, you know, have to have the right kind of attitude," said Hendricks.
Hendricks says Liberty has just that. After getting done with doggy boot camp, Liberty will become an official therapy dog. The 7-week training will teach Liberty how to act to get the most smiles out of the staff and from the veterans. Hendricks says it's a two way street of happiness for both the pets and vets.
"She brings them smiles and happiness and they love petting both of the dogs a lot and spending time with them. The dogs make their rounds, making sure not to miss anyone. The dogs will go from person to person to person just wherever they are needed," said Hendricks.
And the need is high because the vets can't get enough puppy love.
"They are good companions. They like to cheer you up a little bit," said Coy Overall, a WWII veteran.
After Liberty gets done with her official training, she will actually be living at the facility 24/7. The other dog, Hope, goes home with her owner, Tonya Hendricks at the end of the day.
Veterans say they can't wait to have one of their furry friends with them all of the time.